TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow

Bryan and I took Tornado down to the Medway Microbot event at the Fairview Junior school in Rainham, Kent - my home town! (Dave couldn't attend; he was away on holiday - Storm Chasing again!)


Just as we arrived, I got collared to help the judging of the Young Engineers Rex's Robot Challenge, along with Rex Garrod and Simon West of Cassius. Heavyweights present included M2, Onslaught, Scary Gadget (from the Kent Robot challenge - it was good to see Mike, Sarah, Laura and Vicky again), Toecutter 2, Lambsy, Wo-wot, and Cassius 3. Rex's Challenge robots present were Spiny Norman, Tuff Stuff, Alien8or, Eddy, Artful Roger, Positively Pointless, plus Bolt From The Blue representing the Juniors, and Kat Nip, Ely-niminator, Prince Nomoore, plus Grease Monkey representing the Seniors.

The Rex's Robot Challenge competition was divided into three stages - an assault course, then a technical check (and inspection/questions to see how the robots embodied the spirit of the competition), and finally a knockout combat competition. It was an interesting experience to try to judge impartially, especially when I already knew that some of the machines present were not quite within the rules, or the spirit of the competition! Spiny Norman won the junior competition by scoring consistenly well in every stage, while an excellent performance all round from Ely-niminator (pictured below, with Rex Garrod and their trophy) saw them win the Senior competition.

Also running indoors were a few other lightweights and featherweights, including Cassius Junior and Ruff Stuff. There were also lots and lots of antweights present! Ed from Storm had Force X (force ten) going in the outdoor heavyweight arena too. Bryan took charge of Tornado on the outside arena for the day - the arena wasn't up to full combat but was enough to contain the robots for demonstrations - Bryan commented that M2 has a really good flipper, and managed to throw Tornado further than Chaos 2 ever managed!
One of the best things of the day was to see T2R Special again, the robot we beat in our Series 4 audition - it's the only time we've seen it since! Rupert Weeks from the Tantrum team now runs a robotics shop - and had brought T2R Special along to display on his stall at the event.
We left the event once the clear up started, to head up to ExCeL in London for the London Expo Sci-Fi show that many of the other heavyweights were at this weekend.

Have a look at the Microbot site.

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